We've all read fanfics where our boys in MCR fall madly in love with the beautiful and mysterious narrator. But what about the relationships that...just...never happened?
I had arrived late to this party and like all the other parties I went to, I didn’t do much. I’m more of a people-watcher then anything else. To tell you the truth, the only reason I go to these parties is because it makes me feel a little less alone. But then again, I suppose that’s why everyone goes.
I made my way down the beer cluttered stairs and past a teenage couple making out in the shadows. Apparently, there was a shortage of bedrooms. In the corner of the yard there was a small, garden bench. You know the kind, flimsy, wooden, cheesy. I gingerly sat on the edge and then put all of my weight on it. It was sturdy.
For a party of the rich and privileged, this one sure did blow. You think rock stars would have the best parties around, but this had been a total drag. Speaking of…
From the inside of my jacket I pulled a worn cigarette pack. I was running low. I needed to buy more or my head was sure to explode. Unfortunately, I hadn’t sold a good article or picture in about two weeks. Maybe Mom was right, maybe freelance journalism was a waste of life. Maybe I should go back to college. Maybe I should get a degree and do something that wasn’t using people so I could get into the best parties so that I could take a fucking picture so that I could pay my goddamn rent and buy more cigarettes. That’s all I asked for in life. Rent money and cancer sticks. And a lighter every now and then.
A lighter. I felt around in my other pocket. Empty.
“Fuck me.” I said out loud. “Where the hell is my lighter?”
I sighed and closed my eyes. It had been a long day. A long, useless day. And now, I couldn’t even find a goddamn light.
I opened my eyes to find a young man, maybe in his twenties, staring at me. I vaguely recognized him as the lead singer of and up and coming band, one that I should know and care about. But for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the name of his band, much less his name.
“You alright?” he said. His voice was a strange one. Slightly hoarse, almost nasally. Like he was from Jersey or something. Or if not Jersey, one of those states around it.
“Need a light?” he asked, gesturing to the cigarette loosely grasped in my hand.
I nodded again.
He came closer and sat on the bench next to me and began rummaging around in his own pockets. He sighed and shoved his dark hair out of his eyes and switched his search to another pocket.
“Found you!” he said suddenly. Oh sweet Jesus, this man talked to his lighters. What the hell would the music industry come up with next?
He pulled a red lighter from his pocket and with his other hand pulled out his own smoke. Fuck, I wanted the light, not a smoking partner. Please, please go away.
He flicked the light and a small flame sprang into life. Heaven. I leaned forward and lit my ciggy, and inhaled a deep breath. I held the smoke in my mouth until I felt it burn my tongue and then released it, watching the cloud of smoke drift upwards. I watched it, ignoring the man who was now watching me. My smoke spiraled upwards, creating shapes between stars.
The man lit his own and in the bright haze I noticed his eyes. They were extraordinary. The deepest hazel. If only he would get his hair out of his eyes, then maybe the world could see them.
“Gerard!” cried a voice, breaking through the night.
The man, Gerard, looked up at the figure of another guy, standing on the porch.
“C’mon, man, we’re gonna go.”
“Coming!” came that hoarse voice again.
“Now, or you’ll walk!” said the voice and then the owner disappeared back into the house.
Gerard sighed and stood up. He looked down at me and I looked him straight in the eye. He smiled, a small grin, and then nodded briefly before turning to leave. He walked away from me that night, with one hand in his jacket pocket and the other rising to meet the cigarette in his mouth. His walk was a solid, dependable walk and I watched him until, like a ghost, he had slipped through the gate and all I could see was the red embers, falling behind him.
It wasn’t until much later that I saw his picture and realized just who I was dealing with that night. Most of the time I hardly think about it, but sometimes, when I’m smoking by myself, sitting in the dark of my own backyard, I remember him. And I wonder…
What would have happened if I had only said hello?